May 13, 2013
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Survey: Postmenopausal women prefer vaginal tablets to other therapies

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In a recent survey, researchers identified reasons for noncompliance regarding local estrogen therapy for vaginal atrophy by asking postmenopausal women why they switched to vaginal estradiol tablets from other formulations.

According to data, 85% of the 79 women who completed the survey had used a vaginal cream, 9% had used the vaginal ring and 6% had used both cream and the ring before switching to the 10 mcg vaginal estradiol tablet (Vagifem, Novo Nordisk).

Reasons for noncompliance of vaginal creams included applicator complaints (61%), general unpleasantness of the creams (53%), the need to wash the applicator (48%) and leaks after application (37%), according to a press release. Results also showed that 66% of women who previously used a cream reported that they were “much more likely” to use a vaginal tablet compared with the cream.

Moreover, missed doses were reported frequently by patients who previously used vaginal creams.

For those women who previously used the ring (n=8), 100% reported formulation concerns, including difficulty removing the ring (50%) and ability of the patient or her partner to feel the ring (25% each), resulting in delayed prescription refills.

“The survey may help health care professionals identify reasons for noncompliance with certain local estrogen therapy formulations, which emphasize the role that a patient’s preference may play in the adherence to her treatment for vaginal atrophy,” researcher Mary Jane Minkin, MD, FACOG, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine, said in the press release. “These insights serve as an effective argument that patient preference should be ascertained and help guide physicians’ treatment selection for their patients.”

According to researchers, these findings suggest the importance of patient-friendly local estrogen formulations for the treatment of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. These data may impact improved methods and patient adherence, they wrote.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.